An unhealable wound: left by suicide

By Claire Allphin

This article is about the author’s expérience of being left by suicide and the effect the experience had on her work as an analyst in the consulting room and as a member of psychological organizations. The effects are generalized to others who have been left by suicide based on the writings of those left and on writings of authors who have researched the subject. Shame and the effects the judgement of society now and in the past have on the person who suffers this experience are central, as well as the positive and negative ways groups are used by a person left buy suicide to find solace and to emerge from the darkness of such abandonment. There is a constant longing (often unconscious) for replacement of the lost one. The article seeks to help analysts and those who have been left by suicide understand the suffering and the indelible mark that is experienced when there is a suicide of someone close. Understanding by the analyst is important in order to modulate the shame of this experience.

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